Cory Hazlehurst was born in Oldham in 1987. After doing a history degree at Birmingham University and then writing a very boring thesis on 10th-century miracles that nobody will ever read, he realized that a career in academia was not for him. Cory makes a sideways career move into primary teaching in September, when he begins a PGCE course. As well as spending a lot of time drinking tea, watching cricket, talking politics and playing chess, he blogs at Paperback Rioter.
Why do you blog? > Because it's cheaper than hiring a psychiatrist.
What has been your best blogging experience? > Being Highly Commended in Channel 4's 'Britain's Best Young Blogger' competition. And being asked to do a normblog profile, obviously!
Who are your intellectual heroes? > Bertrand Russell, Tony Judt, E.P. Thompson, George Orwell.
What are you reading at the moment? > From Beirut to Jerusalem by Tom Friedman.
Who are your cultural heroes? > Elvis Costello, Nick Lowe, John Hiatt, Randy Newman, Tom Lehrer, David Simon and, last but not least, Alan Plater. If you haven't watched The Beiderbecke Trilogy, I insist you do so now.
What is the best novel you've ever read? > The Spy Who Came in From the Cold by John Le Carre.
What is your favourite movie? > In the Loop.
What is your favourite song? > This changes weekly, but at the moment it's 'Shipbuilding' by Elvis Costello.
Can you name a major moral, political or intellectual issue on which you've ever changed your mind? > I used to be an enthusiastic liberal interventionist, but am now very unsure as to whether it does more good than ill.
What philosophical thesis do you think it most important to disseminate? > 'Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.' – Benjamin Franklin.
What philosophical thesis do you think it most important to combat? > The idea that if only we left everything to the free market and the private sector, everything would be hunky dory.
What is your favourite piece of political wisdom? > 'Government policy has nothing to do with common sense.' – Sir Humphrey Appleby.
If you could effect one major policy change in the governing of your country, what would it be? > An elected second chamber that used a proportional system to elect its members.
What do you consider to be the main threat to the future peace and security of the world? > Climate change.
What would be your most important piece of advice about life? > Don't worry too much about what other people think of you, and have as many different hobbies and/or interests as possible.
Do you think you could ever be married to, or in a long-term relationship with, someone with radically different political views from your own? > I very much doubt it. There'd be too many arguments.
What do you consider the most important personal quality? > The ability to laugh at oneself. After all, life is far too important to take seriously.
What personal fault do you most dislike? > Arrogance.
Do you have any prejudices you're willing to acknowledge? > A very rational one against Phil Woolas.
What is your favourite proverb? > Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
What, if anything, do you worry about? > A lot less than I used to. I periodically have mild panic attacks about whether I'd actually be a good teacher, but that's only natural I suppose.
What would you call your autobiography? > Fear and Loathing on the Armchair Campaign Trail.
Who would play you in the movie about your life? > David Mitchell (the one from Peep Show, not the novelist).
What is your most treasured possession? > My collection of Wisden Cricketers' Almanacks, especially the 1945 edition that includes a game in which my grandfather played for Glamorgan against Learie Constantine's XI.
What talent would you most like to have? > Either to play the piano, or to bowl leg-spin. I can't decide which one.
What would be your ideal choice of alternative profession or job? > Cricket commentator or newspaper columnist. Incidentally, if anyone wants to employ me in either capacity I'm open to offers.
Who are your sporting heroes? > Michael Atherton. His cover drive was absolutely orgasmic. And he's a Lancastrian, to boot.
If you could have one (more or less realistic) wish come true, what would you wish for? > To appear on Question Time.
If you could have any three guests, past or present, to dinner who would they be? > Bertrand Russell and Tony Judt for obvious reasons. The third guest would be Ӕthelwold of Winchester, so that I could ask him if anything I wrote about in my thesis has any basis in fact whatsoever.
[A list of all the normblog profiles to date, and the links to them, can be found here.]